DAMAR Southern Railroad

1-1/2" Scale Model Railroading

Plymouth Switcher #36

I've decided to try my hand at a small all-electric engine. I chose the little Plymouth switcher just because I liked how it looked. The project is well underway as you will see from the pictures shown below. I obtained a pair of 24VDC electric wheelchair gear motors from eBay at a reasonable price (I think). I welded up a chain sprocket such that I can lash the two motors together as a tandem unit. This should provide more than enough horsepower to propel the little engine quite nicely. A friend that can weld aluminum, welded a couple of pieces together to form the bed. Another friend had an unused (and unwanted) start to a power truck also all in aluminum. So that was the start. For a controller, I chose the Pro-120 from Q4D, a company in England, that manufactures a wide variety of pulse-width-modulation (PWM) type controllers. This one will handle up to 120 amps at 24VDC without any problems. The controller is pretty nifty. Aside from the obvious, it provides dynamic braking which actually charges the batteries when it is coasting downhill. This will extend the running time significantly. The locomotive will have a pair of 12V marine deep-cycle batteries on board.


I have most of the parts fabricated for the running gear part. I assembled the entire power plant and took it to Wayne's track for testing. It performed very well with only one derailment most likely due to a "wave" in the track and the fact that the suspension is still very stiff and lacking proper lubrication. I took a couple of pictures of the event as seen below. I've also included a number of other pictures of various parts of the construction thus far.

Coupler Pocket          Truck Attached          On the rails               Motor and Controller

Getting Full               Full Assembly             Various Parts            Front/Back Sills

Painted Truck            First Ride                 Cab Mockup               Cab Mockup